By statutory law, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is prevented from offering non-postal products without the approval of Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). So under the radar and with little public notice, USPS started a pilot program last September to cash paychecks under $500. For a flat fee of $5.95, the check money is deposited on to Visa gift cards. The pilot in 4 cities was a complete failure (Baltimore, DC, Bronx, Falls Church). Only six gift cards were issued for a USPS profit of $35.70.
The pilot was framed internally as a stepping stone to something bigger. If the pilot was successful, other features would likely be added, mostly likely turn USPS into a bank. There is obviously much on the line, so in a shocking move about 4 weeks ago, USPS extended this completely failed pilot program. The postal workers unions and left activists have long desired USPS get into financial services. It would put USPS in direct competition with the multibillion-dollar check-cashing industry and those spoils that come from banking corruption.
After Louis DeJoy was appointed Postmaster General by Trump, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) met DeJoy personally in a series of meetings. They were pitching the postal banking idea again. Those meetings soon became weekly events, involving technical staff. By using a generic gift card that wasn’t reloadable, USPS felt they could bypass any Congressional or PRC oversight. This is the same APWU that condemns and criticizes DeJoy relentlessly over service quality controlled by their own union members.
One way APWU got access to DeJoy was through an anecdote about Switzerland. If you order a pair of shoes online in Switzerland and they don’t fit, you can take them back to the post office to return. They will ship the shoes back to the retailer and instantly credit a postal savings account. The postal unions eventually want USPS to deploy banking at their 31,000 locations and provide postal bank accounts. U.S. postal savings accounts were shut down in 1967 after 56 years in operation. At its height, only 4 million had accounts.
When the pilot launched, The American Prospect reported “The postal unions have been laser-focused on getting postal leadership to embrace banking for many years, seeing it as an attractive product to bring in customers and promote financial inclusion.” One of the checks cashed was from the Prospect’s Art Director who tested the process. In 2016, APWU added postal banking pilots in their USPS collective-bargaining agreement. Previous postmaster general Megan Brennan ignored this obligation on the pilots. The APWU considered filing a grievance, but decided even if it won a pilot, postal leadership would not have put up the energy to help it succeed.
After the announced extension, Republicans on the Financial Services Committee sent DeJoy a letter on April 20th, 2022 to get answers on the check cashing scheme. It mentions that in 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act to help modernize USPS. It includes specific language and definitions to ensure USPS focuses on its core role of delivering mail. It says USPS can’t engage in non-postal products that would compete with the private sector. In short, USPS is not allowed to get involved in the financial services market.
As GP reported in the past, almost all of the 644,000 USPS employees in America are union members of either the APWU, NALC, NPMHU, or RLCA (Rural Carriers). Which are all affiliates of the AFL-CIO. The APWU donates 92% to Democrats. NALC is the most powerful with $353 million in assets. They spend millions in lobbying with 84% of donations going to Democrat PAC’s and liberal candidates. All these unions exclusively endorse Democrats for President. GP reported that USPS built and tested a secret mobile voting system, without approval or oversight, before the 2020 election.
From Harvard Law in 2014, to current media activists. The left has been pushing postal banking for years to help these unions. USPS disobeys laws, runs secret banking and election programs, and is clearly controlled by the left. And we’re supposed to trust them with ever single ballot sent by mail in America?